Monday, September 22, 2014

Robert Parry — High Cost of Bad Journalism on Ukraine

The costs of the mainstream U.S. media’s wildly anti-Moscow bias in the Ukraine crisis are adding up, as the Obama administration has decided to react to alleged “Russian aggression” by investing as much as $1 trillion in modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.
On Monday, a typically slanted New York Times article justified these modernization plans by describing “Russia on the warpath” and adding: “Congress has expressed less interest in atomic reductions than looking tough in Washington’s escalating confrontation with Moscow.”…
Russia has also announced its intention to beef up its nuclear arsenal. China won't be sitting on the sidelines just watching either.

Cold War II is here, along with a renewed arms race, and the military-industrial complex is celebrating and toasting their neocon partners for another job well  done.

Where I think Parry falls short is in apparently missing that the neocon objective all along has been regime change in Russia to a neoliberal regime that makes Russia an other US vassal. The objective now is "spontaneous" uprising in Russia and the US actively promoting it. John McCain lead the charge for regime change in the Ukraine and he has now shifted his focus to Russia and replacing democratically elected President Putin with a "democratic" uprising similar to the US backed and financed on that overthrew the democratically elected president of the Ukraine in a "democratic" uprising led by neo-Nazis. (But they were "our" neo-Nazis.")

This is dangerous ground. Russia is not the Ukraine, and Putin is forewarned.

Incidentally, right-wing conspiracy sites were calling this and documenting it many month before it happened, while the press and pundits on the left missed it.
High Cost of Bad Journalism on Ukraine
Robert Parry


Ryan Harris said...

Anything to raise the deficit. If China, US, Europe and Russia boost military spending each by 2 or 3% of GDP, it will pull the world out of slow growth.

Ignacio said...

Not really! "Growth at all costs" is not a good policy in the long run.

Wasting resources on useless stuff is deflationary and ecologically wasteful in the long (and short in the case of waste) run, as well as the risk of actually using it and destroying capital.

Ryan Harris said...

There is no long run. Wasting human lives is more important than wasting iron ore, sand, and coal. Whether or not you deny yourself some earthly pleasure today is irrelevant. The universe has limitless amounts of those resources but time and life are fleeting and limited and go in one direction toward an end. The universe, galaxy, or solar system and planet will snuff out all humans in the long run as earth's one way journey to its demise plays out. It isn't a balanced ecological system that will endure forever, it is a degrading planet, that is rapidly cooling with a star that is in its latter phases which will consume the planet as it explodes 'in the long run'. Enjoy life and the resources and the time you have and so long as your pollution doesn't do substantial, measurable injury to other plants and animals, ignore the hype to live austere. Resource scarcity and pollution are the liberal's tin hat hyper-inflation issues. 99% is total non-sense and just wrong. There is enough of most natural resources for every human to have far more than we have today without doing any harm to any creature or the earth herself. The politics of schadenfreude, austerity and suffering needs to end and if it offends people like Tom Hickey or Bob Roddis in their extremism, so be it.

Matt Franko said...

But Ryan where will we get the "money" to pay for all of that?!?!!?!


Ignacio said...

All that is good in theory, but is no more tin-foil hat than saying that "99% is total non-sense". The good news is that human population will most likely stabilize during this century (even diminish) so in the short run there may not be a problem as (if) technology keeps progressing. Also yes, Earth will end one day, and maybe even the universe, and humans 1000 years from now (if still exist) will have to solve other sort of problems, but how does this makes any point in favour of militarization of industry and labour.

I agree that is stupid to hype for 'austerity' when there is a small percentage of the humanity that are the biggest resource suckers of the world. But is also stupid to hype for non-sensical military spending just to kick the can, because cronies and idiots are in charge, or because most of the population maybe does not deserve better because illiteracy (not what I think, but trying to udnerstand how could anyone come to that conclusion)?

It's a mediocre solution that, also, favours those same suckers that are already draining everybody and everything. Kick the can is basically the ideology of mediocrity and a nihilist and narcissist bullcrap of not believing in anything (even if you go to the church on Sunday) that dominates in our current society.

Is that sort of belief-system that got us in this mess in the first place, the belief-system of let's corrupt everybody and everything and we will fix problems later. Spare me the propaganda please, I live in a country where there is actual scarcity of many things you take for granted for the 'modern consumer life' and that has actual passed through periods of autarky, so no, wasting resources making bullets to... what point? to keep recycling money so people won't starve? is not an option. All this "logic" is too absurd for me, sorry. I don't buy it, I would rather use those resources to build something useful or with a purpose and try to achieve something that I perceive a worth making than building WoMD (even if I recognize some merit in nuked, that they probably stopped WWIII from happening so far, even if the warmongers that pursue these policies you applaud don't need to keep building more of those weapons military deterrence).

No, but let's sink uranium and a lot of energy into building nukes, very smart and the summit of human civilization (maybe it will be literally someday lol). Ah, maybe I'm a too old fashioned progressive, in the real sense of the word, but what do I know...

Ryan Harris said...

Militarization is unfortunate, but is better than the proposed austere alternatives because any demand is better than insufficient demand.

The conservatives dogma is build upon an assumption that we don't have enough money, which we know is de-bunked.

The liberals dogma is built up the idea that there are long term real constraints. We shouldn't use what we have; save it for later; pollution; resource depletion and what not.

I say look out at the night sky, there are more stars and solar systems than humans exist on the planet. Everyone can have their own solar system! The human mind is terrible at imagining the small and large scales and gets confused. At the macro level, there is no resource that can't be found in abundance in our own solar system or on our own planet. There is no pollution or population problem that can't be regulated or managed or mitigated. We haven't even populated our own planet yet, and there are tens of billions of planets waiting for humans to populate them.

The limitations are social, imaginative and biological and physical. Time is literally, one way and limits us in very real obvious ways. From that perspective, economic policy is terribly misguided and the two parties have us hamstrung in a false dilemma as we value money and resources more than we value time and life itself.

So to respond to your criticism, that because an individual in one country finds their own resources limited, like food, doesn't mean that collectively, we face those same limits! We have the ability to produce more food than everyone could ever eat, and distribute it to meet every hungry mouth. In the current economy lack of demand for labor means individuals can not afford to procure what we produce.

We face problems highlighted by Roger! Coordination, knowledge and mutual destructive practices that limit, not real resource or monetary constraints. It is important to understand because orthodox economics says the opposite and it oppresses MOST people.

Ignacio said...

I agree with you on all the fundamentals but I fail to see how militarization of industry and economic activity gets us from here to there, instead of making problems bigger down the road.

How does this help leveraging return on coordination when what happens in practice is leveraging the power of the cronies and the status quo, and building up the current instabilities (all created, as you point out, by humans and the current chaos). History of XXI century is mimicking closely history of XX century so far: the solution to the problem of oligarchy was "solved" through political disruption, jingoism and ultimately war because the lack of imagination or because of the interests of the cronies. It remains to be seen if we are going to see the same sort of widespread hatred and violence ruining the lives of whole generations, but playing the game of the same ruling class that got us in this mess and refuses to change it's policies and practices, I'm not sure is part of the fixing.

Tom Hickey said...

The politics of schadenfreude, austerity and suffering needs to end and if it offends people like Tom Hickey or Bob Roddis in their extremism, so be it.

Granting for the sake of argument that climate change is not affected by human activity, or at least that this is not well-established, the problem of externalites remains. The environment is becoming increasingly polluted for a variety of reasons and one of the major reasons is emissions. This is already leading to health issues, both human and financial. The cost and inefficiency of externalities alone is reason enough to address them.

I think I already reported a conversation with my physician in which she said that many children are being diagnosed with disease not seen before on such a scale in children and "we now know why." It is largely the externalites affecting food, water, and air, although inappropriate life-style promoted by the culture is also a strong causal factor.

We are poisoning the nest. One way to address the issue is through true cost and tighter regulation instead of market price that depends on socializing externalities.It is argued that then investment will migrate to areas of lower cost and looser regulation.

This can be addressed by tariffs on imports and regulation within countries to balance regions. In the US, California sets a standard, for example, that affects prices elsewhere, just like the textbook market is affected by the buying power of Texas which imposes goofy standards such as anti-science that dumbs down the population. And, of course, protectionism can be turned to cronyism. So there is no magic fix that that is fool proof. There are a lot of fools out there.

Ryan Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Harris said...

Oh I just realized where you came up with your Climate Change spiel, Tom. Earth cooling in my comment has nothing to do with Climate change. Climate change is a short term phenom related to political identity and burning fuels and pollution.
The Earth cooling is related to radioactive element depletion and heat generated by gravity and accretion being dissipated. The core of the earth, the crust and mantle have cooled, several hundred degrees and continue to cool by fractions of degrees every thousand years. It's not related to the current climate change debates in any way.

Jeff65 said...

"Ryan Harris said...

Militarization is unfortunate, but is better than the proposed austere alternatives because any demand is better than insufficient demand. "

Better for who? Americans? I think others might strongly disagree.